Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013-16 Sheryl Jedlinski
Replacing my left knee with a bionic one was far less painful than I anticipated. It was the side effects of OxyContin that almost did me in. The test dose I tried prior to my surgery revealed nothing about how my body would react to it building up in my system.
While OxyContin did effectively manage my post-surgical pain, it also caused ushered in constipation, nausea, dramatic mood swings, loss of appetite, and fatigue. My fluid intake was so low, the home health nurse suggested I try Jello and ice cream as more attractive sources of fluids. Was she kidding me? I’d have to be dead to choose Jello over a chocolate malted. Friends and family brought me enough chocolate in every form to send an entire country into diabetic shock. For the first time in my life, I could hardly look at chocolate, let alone eat it. Before any weight loss could set in, however, my appetite returned, with chocolate again topping my must eat list.
The most disturbing side effect of the OxyContin, however, was that it led me to act out violent nightmares. This went on for several nights in a row, until I started titrating down to wean myself off drug altogether. Fortunately, I have been sleeping in my zero gravity chair in the family room with my husband beside me on the couch. Awakened by my yelling, he leapt up just in time to wrestle my laptop out of my hands before I threw it through the fireplace glass doors. Another time, he grabbed a tall, heavy copper vase from my arms as I was swinging it in the air like a club, spraying river rocks all over the family room. I could not get off the OxyContin soon enough for me or my husband. I intend to find an alternative pain killer prior to my next knee replacement, which is less than a month away.